From time to time I have people asking me how they can help out with the various activities and developments we talk about on AgileSoC.com. It’s not everyday, but it’s often enough that I thought it would be useful to publish a consolidated list of what’s currently on the go to see if anyone is hip to pitching in. When I say anyone, I really mean anyone. There are no agile hardware experts that I know of which means we’re all equally qualified. You could be working now in ASIC/FPGA development, taking a break, studying at university or whatever. If you got the interest with a few hours to spare, you can help.
Projects Currently Under Development
SVUnit is our most popular SystemVerilog unit test framework. The framework itself is reasonably solid but there’s always opportunities to publish add-ons or examples. If you have an example of how you’ve used SVUnit to solve a problem that you can share with the community, EDAPlayground.com is probably the best place to do that. If you’ve got add-ons to the framework that you think belong in the release package, please contact me, tell me what you have and we can discuss how to get it in there.
Our second most popular SystemVerilog unit test framework (aka: the other framework) is MiniTB. Similar to SVUnit, it’s reasonably solid on it’s own but more so than SVUnit, it could use some examples. Since it’s geared more toward RTL testing, we could really use some examples of how different RTL modules are being smoke-tested. Likewise, we could use some interface IP (I already have some AMBA BFMs packaged with MiniTB but they could use some company). If you’ve got anything or are motivated to put something together, let me know and we’ll see if we can get something into the release package.
I tend to forget about UVM-UTest as an option for further development even though it’s probably the project with the most direct link to what’s going on in the EDA industry. UVM-UTest is our project where we unit test components of the UVM library. Seeing as how UVM is so huge and UVM-UTest covers only a small subset so far, there’s a never ending opportunity here to grow the unit test suite, continuing to verify what is a very important and relevant industry framework. Check out the getting started page to see what we’ve done so far. If you want to dive in, I can show you the ropes and help you get started verify a new piece of the UVM.
Agile2014 HW/SW Co-dev Platform
Our Agile2014 Co-dev platform is being actively developed as we speak. I’m quite excited about this project because unlike almost my entire career, it involves hardware that you can actually see and touch and use. For our Agile2014 Co-dev platform, I think a neat opportunity exists for one or more people to build a module that does some basic graphics processing. Ideally, we’d like something that shows how we can use logic on the FPGA to transform software generated video frames. Complexity doesn’t really matter. We’re just trying to impress a bunch of software developers so pretty much anything will do :). This will probably entail inserting a block into a pipeline that uses AMBA AXI4-Stream protocol for the I/O with some basic stuff in between. If it sounds good to you, let me know.
If you want to help the Agile Hardware community, likely the best way is to set a good example, then publish it (the most common Agile Hardware email I get is: “do you have any examples of agile being applied to _fill_in_the_blank_?”). I’ve posted guest posts on AgileSoC.com before and would be happy to do so again… even from people that criticize the very idea of agile in hardware development. I don’t discriminate 🙂 . Lessons learned, new techniques, anything that others can learn from is good with me.
SVUnit/MiniTB Compatible Mocking Libraries
This would be an interesting way for people to strike off on their own. Mocking is a useful technique for unit testing and TDD. I’ve recently seen first hand how useful a mocking utility/framework can be. Seeing Cadence add a mocking utility to Specman should be enough to convince people it’s not an entirely crazy idea. If you’re new to mocking, you can check out CMock or GoogleMock for two examples from C/C++. If the idea tickles your fancy, you could think about building a SystemVerilog version. That’d be a super idea.
SVUnit Support for OVM
This has come up a few times… there are teams still using OVM and are looking for a framework that supports development and test of OVM components. I’ve talked to people that have tried using SVUnit with OVM so it is possible. It’d just be a matter of packaging an add-on similar to what I’ve done with UVM to make it easy for people to use. Add VMM to the list for that matter. Support for either would be a decent idea.
That’s most of what I can think of. You can get me at email@example.com if any of it is worth talking about. If you have any other ideas, maybe you’re looking for feedback or someone to help you out, feel free to get a hold of me.